« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
of the English language to his countrymen are well known and highly appreciated. The results of all his long and varied experience are gathered in this work. He has spared no pains in bringing together whatever is useful in the labors of his predecessors, and adding to this the stores drawn from an extensive study of English literature, from Chaucer down. For the basis of the present work he has taken Johnson as a lexicographer, and Walker as an orthoëpist, though not without departing in some instances from the pronunciation given by the latter. Besides these, he has had recourse to Crabbe's Technological Dictionary, the Law Dictionaries of Jacob, Tomlinson, and Williams, the Commercial Dictionaries of Mortimer and Anderson, Falconer's Marine Dictionary, Moore's Sea Phrases, the Sportsman's Dictionary, Brown's Dictionary of the Bible, Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary, Hansard's as well as Johnson's Typographia, Nares's Glossary and his Orthoëpy, Brookes's Geographical Dictionary, Grose's Cant Terms, Jenning's West Country Words, Pickering's Americanisms, besides the German Dictionaries of Adelung, Heinsius, Campe, Röding, Neinnich, &c. He has also examined many technological works, glossaries, and books of travel. By the faithful use of all these resources, Dr. Flügel has certainly made his Dictionary far more copious than any preceding work of the kind ; this second edition in particular. The German reader of English literature, especially if he extend his studies to old English poetry and the Drama of Elizabeth's and Charles the Second's ages, will find many words explained, for which he will consult other dictionaries in vain. He will find, moreover, terms of art and science, of natural history, medicine, and botany, and of law, maritime affairs, commerce, &c., very fully explained and illustrated.
And, if he should undertake to master American literature as well as English, he will derive very material assistance from the labors of Dr. Flügel. “ The works of the ingenious authors of the new world,” says Flügel, " which in our days are read with so much delight, abound in matter new and foreign to the German translators, causing a deficiency which the author has been anxious to supply.”. To illustrate this remark he states, that sleigh has been explained to be a “chariot with wheels,” and pung or tompung, an easy carriage. Turning to the word in his Dictionary, we find a very full definition, with an explanation of the differences between sleigh, sled, and sledge, which shows, that the author's knowledge is not merely theoretical on this subject. But pung or tompung, he defines der einspinnige Schlitten, a sled drawn by one horse. Now this is certainly an imperfect definition ; for a pung is as often drawn by two horses as by one, and it is something more than VOL. L.
a sled. It is a sled with a square or oblong box set upon it, generally used by market-men. Dr. Flügel probably enjoyed the pleasure of sleighing while in the United States; but we infer, that he never happened to be taken up by a market-man and driven into town in a pung, as we have been ; and this may serve to show the importance of practical and personal experience even in making a dictionary. But in general his definitions are remarkable for their accuracy and fulness, and we have no hesitation in recommending the work as decidedly the best and most copious English-German dictionary extant.
He has also taken great pains to mark all those words that are technical, provincial, inelegant, or antiquated ; and, so far as our observation upon this point has gone, we think his authority is to be relied upon. His efforts to facilitate the pronunciation of the English language to his countrymen have been indefatigable and surprisingly successful. He has conscientiously consulted all the best authorities on this subject, and made the best use of the information thus obtained. So far as it is possible to convey by letters and marks an idea of so capricious, and varying, and unanalogical a thing as English pronunciation, Dr. Flügel has certainly done it ; but one to whom the English is the mother tongue, will readily discover errors in regard to the niceties of pronunciation, inappreciable by a foreign ear.
The second volume is by Sporschil exclusively ; and to German students in the United States, the manner in which this is executed is a question of more importance than any thing connected with the first volume. Considerable improvements have been introduced into this volume, since the first edition. The author has endeavoured to keep pace with the progress of literature and science ; and has added about eight thousand new words in consequence. We have had occasion to compare the two editions, to a considerable extent ; and do not hesitate to declare, that, besides the increased vocabulary, very important improvements have been introduced into the definitions. But the reader of the recent literature of Germany will meet with many words, for which he will look in vain in this dictionary ; and perhaps the extent of individual caprice in coining new words, among the German writers, is so great, that no dictionary can fully satisfy the wants of a reader who knows the German language only from books. But this volume is between four and five hundred pages shorter than the first, whereas the .comparative copiousness of the two languages would seem to indicate a very different proportion. In fact, though the author deserves great credit for what he has done, he has left a great deal undone. His work is the best that we have access to at present ; but a far better work might easily be made by taking this for a basis, and extending it according to certain principles of analogy, which might be easily settled. Though the definitions are generally correct, the author has frequently introduced, without any distinguishing mark, expressions, which no native, educated Englishman or American would think of using in conversation or in writing. Thus a German who should attempt to compose in English, relying on the authority of Sporschil, would be sometimes led into very ludicrous phraseology. Sometimes inportant meanings of words are wholly omitted, as for instance, Schonung is correctly defined indulgence, forbearance, connivance ; but it also means, a preserve or enclosure, and this meaning is not found in Sporschil
. It would not be difficult to increase the list of similar omissions, and perhaps those of greater consequence ; but it would be unjust to make them a matter of reproach to Sporschil, who has really taken a very important step towards a good German-English Dictionary. But we would recommend, that the labors of Sporschil should be revised by some competent English scholar, who is at the same time familiar with the language and literature of Germany. The great demand for a German-English Dictionary, on account of the increased and increasing attention bestowed on German literature, would justify a publisher in risking its publication. To give the best security for the thorough execution of such a task, it should be intrusted to the joint labors of a native German, and a native English or American scholar. We sincerely hope, both for our own convenience and that of many others, that uch a work will be speedily accomplished.
No. 12. Rich
8. – Southern Literary Messenger. Vol. V.
mond: T. W. White. 8vo. pp. 72.
We always promise ourselves no small degree of pleasure from the pages of this well-managed magazine. We are led to refer to it, at the present time, by a judicious and scholarly stricture in the number for last month, upon a work noticed in the last number of our journal, the recent translation of the “ Tusculan Questions of Cicero. Knowing it to be always our purpose, that our criticisms shall be just and fair, and that, if they err on either side, it shall be on that of indulgence, we are not in the habit of recurring to them for the purpose of defence against complaints, to which, in any quarter, they may have been thought obnoxious. But, in the present instance, some pains have been taken to prosecute in the newspapers an appeal from our judgment, as if it had been unreasonably severe ; and letters have been published, addressed to the translator, on the subject of his work, by no less than four gentlemen of the most unquestionable eminence in our republic of letters. With one exception, however, they were all written before our notice of the book, and are marked by a degree of reserve, upon the question, which we took up, respecting its character as a correct and adequate translation ; and, indeed, how hastily they were prepared, may be guessed from the fact, that one of them, emanating from an authority to whose deliberate dicta all deference is due, speaks of the present English version as the first which had been made of the “ Tusculan Questions,” when, in fact, it had been preceded by at least four, and we believe five.
We spoke of the execution of the work in terms much less severe than have been used by our learned Virginia contemporary; it is useless now to say, that we should have been far better pleased to commend it, could we have done so in good conscience ; but we own, that, by this time, we should have been greatly dissatisfied with ourselves, had we been left to applaud a publication, proceeding from our neighbourhood, which, in another quarter, has been made the subject of strictures, as strong as they are well founded ; nor could we have even made out a good case of self-defence, had we been silent respecting so very unsatisfactory an essay, which, if unchallenged in the critical journals, would have been likely to be taken for a specimen of the scholarship of the country.
A controversy upon its merits would not be very entertaining ; but if it were to be prosecuted, we are full sure, that our materials would not soon give out. For a specimen or two let us begin again with the beginning of the treatise ; for really it does not very much matter where we look for examples. Let us turn to the first section of the first book of the original, and to the corresponding part of the translation. There is a sentence in the former, which may be thus united with the sentence which answers to it in the latter. “Et cum and since, ratio the method, et disciplina and discipline, omnium artium of all arts, quæ which, ad rectam vivendi viam pertinerent relate to the right way of living, contineretur are contained, studio sapientiæ in the study of wisdom, quæ philosophia dicitur, called philosophy, hoc mihi Latinis literis illustrandum putavi, I hare thought it my part to illustrate this in our own language.
Doubtless there are those, who have heard something very
much like this uttered vivâ voce, and, for various good reasons, have found no fault with it ; but in print, there is more time 10 consider the import of such a version. What, then, is mea't by “ the method and discipline of all arts ” ? For, to many minds, this language must convey no very definite idea. “Ratio” and “ disciplina” are undoubtedly the uegodoç and otornua of the Greeks; but in rendering “ ratio when connected with another substantive, as in this case, into English, it is often necessary, in order fully to accommodate the language to our idiom, to vary the phraseology. Cicero says, (De Fin. III. 20,)“ Cynicorum autem rationem atque vitam alii cadere in sa pientem dicunt,” etc. Here, to translate “ rationem atque vitam” literally, “the method and life,” would be a very imperfect representation of the matter. The corresponding English is, the system of morals
or the “ principles of action peculiar to the Cynics. “Ars,” in Latin, is of more extensive application, as commonly used, than "art" in English ; and the same is true of the Latin “sapientia” compared with the English word “wisdom." “ The study of wisdom,” is a phrase, as here used, which suggests rather the idea of the "act of studying,” than what Cicero intended. We will now attempt a translation of the passage above quoted, which, it is believed, will be found, on comparison, to be a nearer approach to the sense of the original, than that upon
which we are commenting. "And since the fundamental principles of all acquirements connected with a virtuous life are contained in that department of knowledge called philosophy, I have thought,” &c.
Cicero himself, in stating his own practice in translating from the Greek, has laid down the law on this subject. “Nec tamen exprimi verbum e verbo necesse erit, ut interpretes indiserti solent, cum sit verbum, quod idem declaret, magis usitatum. Equidem soleo etiam, quod uno Græci, si aliter non possum, idein pluribus verbis exponere." (De Fin. III. 4.) In the few examples of translation from the Greek, which are found in the works of the great Roman scholar, we discover a rigid adherence to his own precepts. One objection, therefore, to the present translation of the Tusculan Questions is, that the English idiom has not been sufficiently consulted ; and that, in consequence, passages not unfrequently occur, which are partly or wholly unintelligible without a reference to Latin usage. The sentence commented upon above, is an example of what we mean.
But parts of this translation are obscure, not only from want of attention to the difference between the Latin and English idioms, but apparently from an imperfect apprehension of the